NQT buzz from the TES forums

9th October 2009 at 01:00
Our NQTs are still trying to work out exactly where they sit in the school hierarchy and this is resulting in some tricky questions in our NQT forum

- First up is an NQT who wants to know if she's meant to cover break and after-school duties (www.tes.co.uknqtduty). Other staff members have told her she shouldn't have to do them, but she's not so sure. Thankfully, our teachers jump in and advise her that NQTs are indeed expected to do their fair share of break cover. Our NQT expert James Williams explains: "These do come under the professional duties of teachers. But as an NQT you should be given guidance and support to enable you to carry out this duty effectively and safely."

- The next question is trickier and is about the relationship between TA and NQT (www.tes.co.uktaandnqt). One of our NQTs found their TA refusing to get a resource for them during a lesson and felt that this was not a good example to set the pupils. The NQT asks for advice on how others would have handled the situation and there's lots of useful tips in this thread.

- But if you really want to know how to get on with a TA you should hang out in the teaching assistants' forum (www.tes.co.ukteachingassistants). Start with the discussion titled: How much direction should you give to a TA? (www.tes.co.uktadirection).

- The consensus of opinion from the TAs is that the more communication and direction teachers give the better. One TA replies: "I think you have every right to direct your TAs. I have worked with teachers who barely grunted and just let me get on with it. Not the best and most efficient way to work."

- Finally, if you really want to incur the wrath of your TA, ask them to do any of the following inappropriate tasks listed in the discussion (www.tes.co.uktatasks): Dust the leaves of the rubber plant, dust every book in the library and make a cover for the teacher's chair. You have been warned ...

Get advice from experienced teachers and support from your peers at www.tes.co.uknqtforum.

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